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Spineless Chicken with Awesome Potatoes

This is one time when being spineless is fabulous.  This is a comfort meal if ever there was one.  Juicy roasted chicken flavored with fresh rosemary and delicious potatoes that are basted with the chicken’s own drippings as they cook. It is easy to make and your house will smell so mouthwatering that your family will be waiting at the table for dinner.  The little bit of extra work you do to cut out the chicken’s backbone is worth it to create these awesome potatoes. I recommend using a good pair of kitchen shears to do the actual backbone removal; it’s so much easier and safer than a knife.  This is a weeknight dinner that everyone will love and you can whip up in just over an hour.

One roasting chicken (backbone removed)

Love my jars on the counter in this shot!

1-2 lbs red skinned or other roasting potatoes, cubed

1 head of garlic

2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Olive oil

Poultry seasoning

Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees use the convection setting if you have it to help crisp the skin.  Next you will need a roasting pan with a rack (this one would work perfect), I then flip the rack upside down so it rests on the handles making plenty of space below the rack to put the potatoes while the chicken will go on top. You can use a baking rack or any other kitchen tool you would like to build your spineless chicken roasting platform, just be sure all the lovely chicken juice will drip on the potatoes below and that air will get to the potatoes.  I then spray the rack and pan with some non-stick cooking spray.

Almost every cook I know has this roasting pan, the sell them everywhere and in fact I think I got mine for free as part of a grocery store promotion.

Dice your potatoes into small bite sized pieces. Then toss them into the bottom of your roasting pan in a single layer.  Next get your head of garlic ready to be cleaned. Take the full head and place it on your cutting board with the pointed top part down on the board push down hard and roll the head of garlic forward it should crumble apart.

Take an individual clove place it on the board and place the flat side of your large kitchen knife on it, smack the knife hard and crush it flat with the heal of your hand.  This is a fun stress reliever.  The skin of the garlic is easy to peel away and you can cut away the hard stem end of the clove.

Toss the garlic in with the potatoes.  Drizzle the garlic & potatoes with some olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and one sprig of diced rosemary. Stir the garlic and potatoes to coat them evenly. Put your spineless chicken roasting platform in place above the potatoes.

Now it’s time to spatchcock your chicken, fancy way of saying take out his backbone and flattening him out. I start by cleaning my sink well and putting the chicken down in the sink. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears cut the spine out of the bird, cut down one side and then the other. Then rinse him well pulling any lose bits of yucky chicken parts off the exposed cavity.

Put the removed backbone and any giblets (other than the liver) into the bottom of your roasting pan to cook with the potatoes.  Next press the bird flat using the heels of your hands, he will crack or just disjoint pretty easily with a little pressure. 

Then flip him over and tuck his wings under before giving the bird a rinse and dry. Next tuck some rosemary under the skin of the bird on the breast and thigh, be careful not to rip the skin.
Rub both sides of the bird lightly with olive oil and then season with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.  Then place the bird “spread eagle” on the roasting platform. Be sure the ends of his leg bones are supported so they don’t tear off as he cooks.

Put the bird and pan in the oven, you might need to adjust the rack in your oven lower so the bird is not to close to the element.  Let him roast for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.

When he is done gently remove the bird from the rack and let him rest while you scoop the potatoes and garlic out of the bottom of the pan. I don’t serve the giblets with the potatoes but I do save them for making chicken stock. Taste the potatoes and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Serve this meal with a nice green veggie like broccoli or Brussels sprouts and a glass of dry white wine.

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